In Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” shows society’s negative views on class not only come from others but also from within; ultimately using downfalls as an example of the impact society caused on Mathilde Louise identity. Mathilde’s dreams of becoming a part of the upper class have turned into an obsession. The idea that she should have it all, becomes more of a hassle to contain. She dreams of being part of the rich society and in a way the necklace made her feel connected with what she believed was her true life. This necklace that shines in the light, that looked so lavish, it took people’s breath away was only what was on the surface but beneath it, all this necklace put up was a facade, it fooled Mathilde into believing this was her ticket to becoming apart of the upper class.
The beauty of the jewelry showed social structure and classes and how they were meant to be seen. When it was time for the ball Guy de Maupassant uses Mathilde to show that the way she acts and carries herself was what she believed being rich and being apart of a high social class was like. The story says ‘She danced with delight, with passion, intoxicated with pleasure, thinking of nothing, in the triumph of her beauty, in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness made up of all these tributes, of all the admirations, of all these awakened desires, of this victory and so sweet to a woman’s heart.’ (Maupassant, 70).
The ball itself was a look into the life of the upper class, in her mind, the rich lifestyle meant going to balls and all kinds of parties. Her thoughts on the upperclassmen impacted her negatively as she started to turn on herself, she not only judged others but also pitied herself. Even though none of the upper-class women mention anything about her not looking or acting rich to her she automatically believed that’s what they thought. Guy de Maupassant used many expensive-sounding objects to attract Mathilde to show her true character and what she desired. But with the loss of the necklace, Mathilde lost herself in a way; she worked long hours and extra jobs, dragged her husband into her problems by making him work as well to pay off this necklace that somehow took away the Mathilde that dreamt to become apart of the upper-class.
The view on society truly comes from within, no one ever really said anything to Mathilde about her status. She believed she was lesser than, societies views come from not one person, but the people who contribute to it. When Matilde made enough money to give to Madame Forestier who is the necklace owner, she is faced with the ugly truth that the necklace wasn’t worth anything at all. The time she spent working she would have spent trying to still become apart of the upper class. As the reader, I noticed that after she stopped working on her dreams of becoming a person of high status, no one paid her any attention all this talk of making her husband use their saving just so she could buy a gown to go to the ball never impacted her social life. Even if she wore the most expensive item possible no one would have spent time to talk about Mathilde and all this was in her head. She told herself what she should dress like what kind of house she should have.
This was created from within, societies view isn’t meant to weigh you down unless you let it as Mathilde did. In the short story, we know the upper class because Mathilde talks about wanting to be like them. Her thoughts on wanting to achieve this lifestyle that doesn’t even give her purpose caused her to lose her identity. Her focus on paying back the necklace is when we see that dep down mathilde isn’t a selfish character but one who lives a life of material fake items that she believes would help her reach the status she wants and believes is rightfully hers.